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The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture Paperback – May 2, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (May 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581345704
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581345704
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #946,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Mary Kassian's thorough look into the development of feminist thought is a sound refutation of a movement that clearly rejects the authority of the Bible. A valuable tool for today's Christian!"
Beverly LaHaye, Founder and Chairman, Concerned Women for America

"An important and original contribution to debates over feminist theology. . . . I warmly recommend this book."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Timely, fresh, succinct, and best of all, biblical. I commend to you The Feminist Mistake."
Anne Ortlund, Author, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman

"An intelligent, balanced effort to understand feminist philosophy and theology, going beyond insightful analysis into a warmly passionate and reflectively penetrating invitation to grapple with crucial issues."
Larry Crabb, Jr., Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Colorado Christian University

"This is an incisive, sympathetic, and well-balanced treatment of one of the most important theological and sociological phenomena of our age."
Harold O. J. Brown, Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

About the Author

Mary Kassian is the founder of Alabaster Flask Ministries, which seeks to mentor and provide spiritual solutions for today’s women. She is also an internationally known speaker and Bible teacher, a member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, wife, and mother of three teenage boys.

Customer Reviews

Excellent and Scholarly.
Unfortunately this constitutes the shortest section in the book, which is a pity since what is there is fascinating.
Tim Challies
It's not about competition, Kassian, and for egalitarians like me, it never was.
JR Corry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By abilecta on March 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Is "Christian feminist" an oxymoron? Mary Kassian thinks so; similarly, after reading The Feminist Mistake, I can categorically deny that I'm a feminist. That is, only if I adhere to Kassian's somewhat limited definition of it.

She admits that she has "not delineated between [feminism's] specific types or brands" because she feels that "all adhere to a common presupposition. Feminism exalts the rights of Women." Sincere Christians will agree that exalting women over God is idolatry, but I disagree with Kassian's assertion that the end result of all feminism is idolatry and societal depravity.

Before I get to that, I will acknowledge that the first part of Kassian's book is an engaging, thorough, solidly researched and relatively fair summation of major feminist thought through the decades. I was particularly disturbed to learn in Chapter 16 of the parallels between secular feminism and religious feminism. Those who call themselves feminists should be familiar with its history and the many damaging and self-centered views that have characterized it, and this book is an excellent resource to that end. Simply by presenting the major precepts and contributors to feminist theory, Kassian has accomplished her purpose of warning readers about the potential consequences of such a worldview, and all without the lecture I was expecting (she saves that for Part II).

Now, on to the two major weaknesses of the book that merit it only three stars. First, as mentioned previously, her choice to lump all flavors of feminism together was an unfair treatment of a complex theory. I understand her goal behind this choice ("all are part of a larger continuum that supersedes and encompasses those variations"), but this inaccurately represents its diversity.
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75 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Roger N. Overton on June 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
What comes to mind when you think of Feminism? Is it simply the idea that all men and women are of equal worth, or is it more than that? Over the past 50 years it has been much, much more. The bulk of The Feminist Mistake by Mary Kassian is an historical overview of the feminist movement, in both its secular and religious forms.

Mrs. Kassian investigates feminism from its postmodern roots to its present day. She begins with the writings of Simone De Beauvoir and Betty Friedan. The initial result of the movement they sparked was an ideology of women naming themselves. "They claimed this role had been determined by men and was oppressive to women." (80) Naming themselves meant "the freedom of all women to do what ever they wish to do sexually" (57- quote of Shulamith Firestone) and otherwise.

Stage one of Feminism was to re-shape women's self-image. Stage two was to re-shape the world we live in according to Feminist thought. "Through woman-centered analysis, every area of human existence was examined and redefined. Woman-centered analysis was both a systematic analysis of the past and an attack on the values that shaped the past."(105)

Even though much of these first two stages were founded on naturalistic assumptions (in their secular forms), the third stage was a religious one- naming God. "Feminists encouraged women to use their imagination in creating new visions of God and new forms of worship and ritual." (181) What followed was self-worship, the Feminists redefined God as themselves. Many began integrating New Age and Wiccan practices into their ideology.

Religious Feminism followed a similar path. They began by re-envisioning themselves and in order to do so they needed to be liberated.
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112 of 152 people found the following review helpful By JR Corry on October 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
For someone who's so knowledgeable, Mary Kassian is quite..uninformed. While her research is excellent and blessedly does not contain flamethrowing insults of feminists after every paragraph (I kept waiting for blows that never came), Kassian has certain trouble seeing the true intentions of many feminists today. Another person on this review page requested that those who criticize the book and give it low ratings explain WHY it's not good and why they don't like it. Well, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

As someone before me pointed out, there is more than one kind of feminist. Kassian, however, has a good deal of trouble figuring this out. Before I elaborate on this, I'll begin by explaining the book's excellent points. Kassian does a superb job of explaining how feminism began, why it progressed, what the true intentions of the first feminists were, and quoting many excellent statements by them. For someone who doesn't like feminism, Kassian was awfully patient: for the majority of the book, she focuses on the history of feminism rather than her own disagreements with it and doesn't really explain her rebuttal until the last chapter. In fact, this book could actually make a great reference book for feminism and its history, whether you like the movement or not. Kassian's relation of history goes from the first feminists fighting for women's rights to the radical ones today, who go from man-hating to goddess worship, and really do little more than wreak havoc. This, however, leads to the problem with Kassian; she makes no real distinction between the man-haters and the equality-seekers, and her speech at the end of the book is aimed at both of them.
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More About the Author

Mary Kassian is an award winning author, internationally renowned speaker, and a distinguished professor at Southern Baptist Seminary. She has published several books, Bible studies and videos, including: In My Father's House: Finding Your Heart's True Home, Conversation Peace, Vertically Inclined, the Feminist Mistake, and Girls Gone Wise - in a World Gone Wild. You can visit her blog at

Mary graduated from the faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of Alberta, Canada and has studied systematic theology at the doctoral level. She has taught courses at seminaries across North America She is a popular conference speaker and has ministered to women's groups internationally. Mary has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, and Marriage Uncensored.

Mary was born and raised in Edmonton, Canada. She and her husband, Brent, have three sons: Clark, Matthew, and Jonathan. Mary has mastered the art of cheering after spending countless hours in rinks, arenas, and gyms: her husband is chaplain for a professional football team, her two older sons play ice hockey, and her youngest, volleyball. The Kassians enjoy biking, hiking, snorkeling (when they can find some warm water!), music, board games, mountains, campfires, and their family pets: Miss Kitty and black lab, General Beau.